Orca 2

Orcas: Our Shared Future finally surfaces at Royal B.C. Museum

Museum dives into the world of the killer whale as delayed feature exhibition now open

The Royal BC Museum’s much-anticipated feature exhibition, Orcas: Our Shared Future, opens April 16 and runs until January 9, 2022.

This visually stunning exhibition makes its global debut after a year-long postponement due to COVID-19, and offers a deep dive into the stories and science that surround the magnificent orca—spirit of British Columbia’s wild coast and apex predator of all oceans.

Through dramatic displays—including three life-size orca replicas and the skeletons of Rhapsody (J32) and her unborn calf—visitors will explore currents of ecological activism, popular culture and Indigenous beliefs to gain a deeper understanding of how orcas and humans are inextricably connected.

“This is a timely and challenging story—and one that we are uniquely qualified to tell,” says Dr. Daniel Muzyka, RBCM board chair and acting CEO. “Our unique collections, curatorial expertise and physical and emotional proximity to orcas and oceans combine in an edifying and ultimately hopeful experience that affirms we are all part of nature—not apart from nature.”

Among the 100-plus artifacts on display are rare cultural objects by Indigenous artists, including an articulated dance mask by Richard Hunt (Kwaguilth); an intricately carved Gold Killer Whale Box by Bill Reid (Haida); and a specially commissioned painting by Haida manga artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas.

The exhibition is complemented by a beautifully illustrated companion publication that brings together the work of marine biologists, Indigenous knowledge keepers, poets, artists and storytellers, the best-selling Spirits of the Coast: Orcas in Science, Art and History

Orcas: Our Shared Future is produced by the Royal BC Museum in partnership with MuseumsPartner, which collaborated on the recent Maya: The Great Jaguar Rises and Egypt: The Time of Pharaohs exhibitions, in 2019 and 2018 respectively.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

RELATED: Chainsaw and friends near the beach thrill orca watchers in Lantzville

RELATED: It’s a girl: Gender revealed of second orca calf born to J Pod last fall

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Malahat SkyWalk will open to visitors in July 2021. (Malahat SkyWalk photo)
Malahat SkyWalk will open to visitors this July

Highly anticipated attraction will take guests 250m above sea level

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Victoria police circulated photo of alleged cat thief actually woman with her own cat

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

Allayah Yoli Thomas had recently turned 12 years old when she died of a suspected drug overdose April 15. (Courtesy of Adriana Londono)
Suspected overdose death of Saanich girl, 12, speaks to lack of supports, says mom

Allayah Yoli Thomas was found dead by her friend the morning of April 15

Illegal goods seized in the simultaneous April 23 busts in Saanich and Sooke. (Courtesy of West Shore RCMP)
RCMP drug busts net trucks, cocaine, cash and Hells Angels gear

Simultaneous searches coordinated between West Shore, Saanich and Sooke police

The Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre on Wilkinson Road in Saanich. (Black Press Media file photo)
Police watchdog investigates after man found unresponsive at Saanich jail

Man was in Victoria police custody the day before being found

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of May 4

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you plan to travel on the Victoria Day long weekend?

It’s the unofficial start to the summer season. A time of barbecues,… Continue reading

The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Louis S. St-Laurent sails past a iceberg in Lancaster Sound, Friday, July 11, 2008. The federal government is expected to end nearly two years of mystery today and reveal its plan to build a new, long overdue heavy icebreaker for the Canadian Coast Guard. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver, Quebec shipyards to each get new heavy icebreaker, cost remains a mystery

Vancouver’s Seaspan Shipyards and Quebec-based Chantier Davie will each build an icebreaker for the coast guard

More than 6,000 camping reservations in British Columbia were cancelled as a result of a provincial order limiting travel between health regions. (Unsplash)
1 in 4 camping reservations cancelled in B.C. amid COVID-19 travel restrictions

More than 6,500 BC Parks campsite reservations for between April 19 and May 25 have been revoked

People line up for COVID-19 vaccination at a drop-in clinic at Cloverdale Recreation Centre on Wednesday, April 27, 2021. Public health officials have focused efforts on the Fraser Health region. (Aaron Hinks/Peace Arch News)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread continues with 694 new cases Thursday

Two million vaccine doses reached, hospital cases down

(File)
With revenge porn on the rise in 2021, B.C. seeks feedback for new legislation

New legislation could help victims take down images and receive compensation

Port Alberni RCMP are investigating a homicide on Third Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
RCMP investigating homicide in Port Alberni apartment

Investigators are still trying to determine the identity of the deceased

People line up outside an immunization clinic to get their Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Edmonton, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Hospital investigating whether Alberta woman who died after AstraZeneca shot was turned away

Woman was taken off life support 12 days after getting vaccine

Most Read